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Israel-Hamas war ‘blockout’: How does the blockout work and who is being blocked?

Israel-Hamas war 'blockout': How does the blockout work and who is being blocked?


Some social media users are calling out celebrities for what they say is inaction in the face of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza — and they’ve taken to a “blockout” to pressure the stars to take a stand.

For the blockout, users put a block on seeing any and all content from the accounts of certain celebrities on social media platforms including X, TikTok and Instagram. Some have posted about the celebrities they’ve blocked, using a hashtag such as #blockout, #blockout2024, or #celebrityblockout, while others have shared posts from users lambasting attendees of high-glamour events like the Met Gala and contrasting it with the situation in Gaza.

Blockout participants say it’s a protest because the celebrities either haven’t spoken up or haven’t said enough against Israel’s actions in Gaza during its war with Hamas. Since the war erupted Oct. 7 with Hamas’ deadly attacks, Israel’s military has killed more than 35,000 people in Gaza, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants.

HOW DOES THE BLOCKOUT WORK?

On social media platforms, users see content from people they follow, as well as from those chosen for them by algorithms. In both instances, users can select options to mute or block a person or account.

Blocking the accounts of celebrities or influencers means not seeing any of the content they produce on social media — no posts, no photos or videos, no collaborations with sponsors. The number of people interacting with content brings in money, so the blocks are meant to affect views, engagement and — ultimately — paychecks.

The blockout also is meant to target celebrities’ brands by taking eyeballs and attention away from their content.

WHO IS BEING BLOCKED?

There is no single organized list of celebrities being blocked. Some users are offering celebrity suggestions, while others are deciding on their own. Celebrities in the U.S. and beyond have been named in the blockout.

Blocking is up to each social media user. And every celebrity, influencer or content creator must be blocked individually on each platform.

HOW DID THE BLOCKOUT START?

Protests around the Israel-Hamas war have grown, with encampments on college campuses around the country. Amid those movements, attention to what celebrities and influencers were, or weren’t, saying got a boost after the Met Gala last week.

The annual party draws a host of famous faces from…

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